Friday, December 11, 2009
SCQ's Year-In-Review Questionnaire
Ever since I was a kid, holed up in my bedroom idolizing the musicians who helped shape my musical tastes, I’ve loved reading interviews and features on how a particular artist/band’s album was recorded, what moment really stuck out as memorable on their last tour, and broad but crucial questions about their art and how they view it. More than anything, I loved when an interviewer threw away his or her metaphorical notepad and asked: "what have you been listening to? What do you feel are the best songs out there right now? What inspires you?" While I’m sure those kinds of interviews take place these days, I certainly can’t find them amid all the Spins and Rolling Stones that treat band members as high-fashion mannequins and their music like a brand that dictates our dress and attitudes. Maybe I’m just outside the demographic now.
So in the first days of September, I put a plan in motion. Contacting a handful of artists who had already made 2009 a wonderful year in music, I asked whether they would be interested in answering a questionnaire that begged those great, nerd-worthy inquiries. A success! As the next few months progressed, this blank-canvas of a questionnaire traded inboxes with more and more artists, crossing the provinces of electronica, rock, folk, and country (plus, you know, the inherent municipalities of ‘folktronica’, ‘shoegaze’, ‘synth-pop, ‘dub’, etc.) to reflect the united creativity and beauty of our independent music scene. From well-established acts on iconic labels and recent discoveries to rising young talents tirelessly promoting themselves, there’s much to discover here.
You’ll find some artists who spent the majority of their listening-time on their own creations, you’ll find some musicians who kept a keen eye on the year’s most celebrated or underrated albums. Hell, you’ll find a few SCQ participants who recommend other SCQ participants! Some people stand up for cover-art amid this encroaching digital age, others see it as increasingly antiquated. Some people relate great, teasing tales of occurrences that happened in the past twelve months, others prefer to prophesize on the coming year. For a feature centered around five unwavering questions, I must say these superb songwriters, producers, label-heads and music-lovers have constructed a diverse Year-In-Review series. Thank you to all the artists involved!